Low supplies strengthen green bean crop prices - The Packer

Low supplies strengthen green bean crop prices

11/04/2011 12:11:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Biederman said Pioneer’s growers expect to begin harvesting small volumes in early November.

In late October, Gary Stafford, salesman and green beans manager with Hugh H. Branch Inc., Pahokee, said Georgia supplies remained light because of cool weather slowing harvest.

Branch’s growers plan to start harvesting their south Florida green beans Nov. 10-12, on time.

Stafford said growers should increase their volume each week and said the Glades producing region should bring moderate to good supplies for Thanksgiving.

“My understanding is that south Florida planted acreage may be slightly less than a year ago,” Stafford said Oct. 24. 

“Ours should be about the same. It’s still early but right now, the outlook looks good. We expect a normal crop season and anticipate we will plant at least as much throughout the cycle and maybe even slightly more than we did a year ago.”

Roller coaster?

Stafford said Georgia prices vary daily.

Prices in late October began falling as the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported bushel cartons/crates of machine-picked round green beans from south Georgia selling for $17.35-18.35. In early and mid-October, the USDA reported those same cartons/crates from south Georgia selling for $25.35-28.35.

Last season in mid-October, the USDA reported bushel cartons/crates of precooled round green beans machine-picked from south Georgia selling for $20.35-21.85, down from early October when those cartons sold for $23.35-25.85.

For Immokalee area production, Florida Specialties Inc., Immokalee, plans to begin harvesting on-time in early November, said Chris Tordonato, sales manager.

Tordonato said lack of supply from Virginia and North Carolina during early fall came after Hurricane Irene brought torrential rains to growing regions. 

In mid-October, he said Georgia was just starting regular volume and said bean prices remained high because fewer growers were harvesting during the transition from Mid-Atlantic production to the start of Georgia production. 

“As we head into Thanksgiving, the market should generally be pretty strong,” Tordonato said. 

“Plantings look good. Without any disruption, we should have a positive outlook going forward.”

Tordonato said Immokalee area acreage likely remains similar to last season. 

Though he declined to state specific acreage or volume, Tordonato said the grower-shipper and fresh-cut processor’s acreage declined by a small amount.

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